Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Stardust @ home

Many of you may be familiar with SETI @ home, a program which anyone can install on their computers and borrows the user's computer power when it's idle to search through the terrabytes of data generated by SETI and look for alien signals.

Following the trend, the recent Stardust probe has generated Stardust @ home. It's not quite the same, however. Stardust @ home seems to be something that's interactive, allowing users at home to take on the role of astronomer and look for tiny grains embedded in the aerogel.

To encourage people to participate, the group is offering co-authorship positions on any papers published if they find a piece of interstellar dust. Chances are that most of the grains will be from our own solar system and thus, while exciting in their own right, are not the holy grail of the mission.

When it comes online it's definately going to be something I'll play with occasionally and I'd encourage others to do the same.

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